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Shadow President

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Anyone ever played this 1992 game? I fired it up yesterday and figured it should be fun to make somekind of clone, especially since it doesnt require a lot of good artwork (and we all know programmers suck at artwork right?) So I was wondering what people disliked about the game, what I should look to improve in the design if I do indeed clone it. Of course I have some ideas of my own (mostly regarding the interface) but I am interested in seeing what a "brainstorm-thread" might shed light on.

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I absolutely LOVED the concept of this game, but for some reason, I could not get into it (and I'm a politics junky).

I think what threw me was not enough tutorial or easy start options. I liked the realism, but at the time I played it the rules were counter-intuitive and realistic to me. For instance, having played a ton of civilization type games, the rules about armies having to be hosted by a client state were frustrating in comparison. I'd have advisors doing backstabbing behind the scenes but not get how to lock them down.

Another thing, ironically enough, is that it took too long to get into the meat of the game. By the time I learned from others about how deep it was, I'd already given up.

FWIW, the first games I started playing were flight sims like Falcon 3.0, so I'm hardly a casual gamer. The difference was that the feedback and rewards cycle in a flight sim, though complicated, was much more immediate and direct-- if did this, I crashed, if I did that, I stalled, etc.

In Shadow President, I started getting so frustrated that I would start nuclear wars, just for the hell of it. I couldn't figure out some of the finer strategy to gaining global influence or why my own allies were undercutting me. I think I was naively expecting a more simplified black and white world, but a good tutorial would have set me straight and made me play alot more cutthroat.

As for ideas:

I'd put the bulk of the work into either the strategic or the advisor model, but decide outright what kind of game it's going to be.

It's important to give the player a good sense of not only what's happened, but based on their actions, what's about to happen.

Corporate cronyism, intrigue, characters with hidden pasts, and a good dose of sedition and insurgency would be nice to deal with.

Good luck on this, I actually missed SP and would love to see an update with a better interface.

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